Because this is the first comprehensive study to show environmental factors can affect dementia.
Long Story Short
A report by British health charity Age UK has stated that some basic lifestyle changes can help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, something which has never been proven before.
For the first time a study has shown definitively that environmental factors are crucial in preventing dementia. British health charity Age UK reviewed academic studies and data and found that 76 percent of cognitive decline is down to lifestyle, including factors like level of education.
The report called The Disconnected Mind has led to five steps being suggested to help prevent the development of dementia conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, which currently affects one in six people over 80.
Regular physical exercise is the most important factor, as well as a healthy diet, not smoking and drinking in moderation. Avoiding or treating diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity is also crucial.
A study of British people conducted over 30 years found that men aged between 45 and 59 who ticked four or five of those lifestyle boxes had a 36 percent lower chance of developing dementia than those who did not.
Although a link between lifestyle and dementia has long been presumed, this empirical evidence is new and Age UK hopes it will encourage people to pay attention to guard themselves against the debilitating condition.
“While there’s still no cure or way to reverse dementia, this evidence shows that there are simple and effective ways to reduce our risk of developing it to begin with,” Age UK director Caroline Abrahams says on the charity’s website.
This development comes hot on the heels of the discovery of the brain’s weak spot that allows the development of dementia, so the armory for fighting cognitive decline seems to be ever increasing.”
Read more via the link above, and read here about The Disconnected Mind research project that aims to discover how our thinking skills change with age, and what we can do to protect our cognitive health in later life. The project is funded by Age UK.